Where do bad folks go when they die?
They don't go to heaven where the angels fly
They go down to the lake of fire and fry
Won't see 'em again till the fourth of July

I knew a lady who came from Duluth
She got bit by a dog with a rabid tooth
She went to her grave just a little too soon
Flew away howling on the yellow moon

Where do bad folks go when they die?
They don't go to heaven where the angels fly
They go down to the lake of fire and fry
Won't see 'em again till the fourth of July

the people cry and the people moan
Look for a dry place to call their home
Try to find some place to rest their bones
While the angels and the devils try to make their own

Where do bad folks go when they die?
They don't go to heaven where the angels fly
They go down to the lake of fire and fry
Won't see 'em again till the fourth of July

Lyrics submitted by bonj, edited by Pirous, AamarAV, fogmoose

"Lake of Fire" as written by Curtis Matthew Kirkwood


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Lake of Fire song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThis song symbolizes the unsurety of life, it doesn't matter where you go when you die, it's not your choice and it doesn't matter anyways.
    seaked1on June 12, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIsn't this a cover song by the Meatupuppets???
    NicoleInWonderlandon April 27, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is the way I hear it.

    A guy who often wonders where is he going to go when he dies. He knows there are 2 places, and he often wonders what each place is like. "wont see them again 'till the forth of july" A Idea that maybe the fire in the fireworks is the closest guess on what hell is like.
    "people cry people moan , look for a dry place to call their home" --Maybe an Idea that sometimes people spend too much of their time wondering where they are going to go , and how they will buried.
    "I knew a lady who cam from duluth- section"-- Maybe that is saying that you just might die early, and you might have wasted all your time wondering where your going when you die.. When it is already chosen where your going.
    Rob_98443on February 09, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti dont really know what this songs meaning is..rob i do like your ideas on it..but this is one of my fav. nirvana songs. I have a bootlegged version of this on an album and its fantastic.
    dmbfan14on May 09, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentas for whether this song is mocking or serious, it comes across as both for me. Well, ok, that's not true, it's obviously a mockery, But self mockery is not an unknown thing, just to mock somebody doesn't mean you fully disagree and are totally different from them, I find it's rather the opposite. The ideas of good and bad/evil as well as the good being exalted and/or leading better, more heavenly lives, and of some sort of judgment of how good a person is, based on other peoples ideas of worth purveys at least my society. I'm talking subconscious and habitual thought patterns, not actually belief, but the beliefs of this song have everything to do with them. So at least for me this song is just a mockery of society, humanity, and myself. And the cruelty of it. And no, I'm not going to go out and eat babies because I don’t believe right and wrong should be my foremost concern, (though I do hear it makes one hell of a good essay/small book). I just think right and wrong are unhealthy abstract concepts, when there’s really so much more involved…
    Scarkon April 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis sing sent chills down my spine when I first heard it. I wrote a poem titled, "When Angels and Devils Collide", which is the inverse of Lake of fire. Even though Nirvana did not write it, Kurt felt it. I was born on the 4th of July, and had 2 suicides in my family. I am also from Athens, Ga, and Nirvana played at the 40 Watt club. Below is my poem if anyone cares to see it. Basically it is about the fact that life is not materialality, it is about emotions, feelings, care, concern, tomorrow, today, and whatever may be or has been, created, destroyed, sorrows and joys. Just life man, just life.

    Where Angels and Devils Collide

    Show me a place where Angels and Devils collide

    And I’ll show you space, where there is nowhere to hide

    Through exposure comes freedom, at the cost of a life

    Through exposure comes thirst, like a desert, bone dry

    As we traverse and travail on the outskirts of time

    We philosophize and postulate about the sublime

    Do not look for rest in the illusion of land

    For on land one may fall, at the first slight of hand

    Those who find peace, find it not within man

    Those who find peace, find it in the one,

    “I AM”

    (c) 2002 Ken Holbert
    k_holberton March 17, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentKurt himself said this song was inspired by a verse in the bible talking about sinners going to the lake of fire and not heaven when they die.
    first verse is about a lady being bitten by a werewolf and turning into one at a full moon "howling on the yellow moon"

    2nd verse about people in denial and "good" and "evil" trying to take advantage of that

    its a kind of surreal song based on some real life antics
    XxXcourtlesXxXon June 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirst of all, we do not see the world how it is, we see it how we are. But there are some ways of seeing the world which are just plain wrong, and this might be one of those times.
    I believe there is a big tongue placed firmly in the cheek. And yet the song describes a kind of suffering. It is the suffering of someone who does not suffer much at all, yet suffers the greatest kind of suffering, fear of being judged.
    To believe that a person can be judged as "good" or "bad" seems to be implicitly challenged here. Am I good? Am I bad? Am I part of the good guys? Am I part of the bad guys? Will I come back if I go to hell? Can I be redeamed?
    When a person is said to "cry and moan" are we really being asked to simpathize? I don't think so. Cry and moan, piss and moan, not much genuine suffering.
    Yellow is fear. Mooning is wishing in a certain way.
    The whole song is a put-down of belief systems which are embraced by everyone to insulate them from their fear of death.
    The real message is: there is no heaven or hell, there are no good people or bad people, and the belief systems that promote such beliefs are as spiritually empty as the Fourth of July.
    Bacfrumduddersideon August 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment*Meatpuppets*
    NicoleInWonderlandon April 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthey rob,
    i think your interpretation is pretty much what i think about that song.
    But i think the 'forth of july' section must have some different meaning...
    gbzoholikaon April 29, 2002   Link

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